Classy Tintu outshines a strong field

PT Usha ward grabs gold with new meet record in Open Nationals

The best two-lap runner in the country just got a shade better.

In a performance that underlined her vast potential, Tintu Luka simply outclassed a quality field as she smashed the meet record in the 800M, lighting up the second day of the 50th Open National Athletics Championships on Sunday.

At the Maharaja’s College stadium, a brief spell of rain brought the temperature down a bit as Tintu took centre stage, timing 2:01.61 to open her season in spectacular fashion. It was the sixth fastest time in the world this year and the fourth quickest among runners in the Commonwealth. Of course, the outdoor season is not in full swing yet.

Last season, Tintu had announced her arrival on the senior stage with a clutch of impressive performances, with a 2:01.92 being her best. That was the second quickest by an Asian last year and by starting off with a personal best, the 21-year-old showed she has plenty more to give this year.

“This is exactly what we were expecting. I am really happy that I could do my personal best in the first meet of the season,” said a delighted Tintu as her coach PT Usha nodded in approval. “She ran the first lap a little quicker than planned (57 seconds) but that is alright. Starting the season with a performance closer to your best of the previous season is the right way to go,” said Usha.

The race itself was hardly a classic as Tintu hit the front early while Sushma Devi and Sinimole Paulose struggled to catch up. Tintu maintained her pace in the second lap too to duck under Jyotirmoyee Sikdar’s meet mark of 2:01.74 while Sushma claimed the silver in 2:03.69. Sinimole was third in 2:06.49.

Andhra Pradesh’s Abdul Najeeb Qureshi (10.42 seconds) and Railways’ Sharadha Narayana (11.56) clocked personal best timings to win the men’s and women’s 100M races. Qureshi, who had a best of 10.56 coming into this event, had timed 10.47 in the semis. Rahmatulla Molla of Police, who ran a 10.44 in the semis, claimed the silver in 10.48.

Sharadha cashed in on a good start to pip Karnataka’s H M Jyothi (11.65) to silver-position. In the triple jump pit, Gayathry Govindarajan of Tamil Nadu kicked the sand at 13.39, improving her previous best by a centimetre for the gold. Karnataka’s Joyline Lobo won the bronze with a 12.44M effort.

Results: Men: 100M: Abdul Najeeb Qureshi (Andhra Pradesh) 10.42 seconds, 1; Rahmatulla Molla (Police) 10.48, 2; Shameermon N A (Services) 10.49, 3.
800M: S Prakash Verma (Railways) 1:48.72, 1; Pankaj Dimri (Police) 1:48.99, 2; Francis Sagayaraj (Services) 1:49.52, 3.
High jump: N Chittarasu (Tamil Nadu) 2.10 metres, 1; Benedict Starly (Railways) 2.05, 2; P Shankar (Services) 2.05, 3.
Long jump: Ankit Sharma (Madhya Pradesh) 7.73 metres, 1; Harikrishnan (Services) 7.64, 2; Maha Singh (Railways) 7.59, 3.
Javelin: Jagmohan (Services) 74.84 metres, 1; Vipin Kazana (Delhi) 74.39, 2; Anuj Kumar (Delhi) 73.60, 3.
Decathlon: P J Vinod (Kerala) 7143 points, 1; Jora Singh (Police) 6671, 2; Vijay Kumar (Services) 6668, 3.
4x400M relay: Railways 3:08.68, 1; Services 3:11.38, 2; Kerala 3:13.25, 3.
Women: 100M: Sharadha Narayana (Railways) 11.56 seconds, 1; H M Jyothi (Karnataka) 11.65, 2; Priya P K (Railways) 12.09, 3.
800M: Tintu Luka (Kerala) 2:01.61 (New Meet Record. Old: 2:01.74, Jyotirmoyee Sikdar, 1998), 1; Sushma Devi (Railways) 2:03.69, 2; Sinimole Paulose (Jharkhand) 2:06.49, 3.
Shot put: Manpreet Kaur (Railways) 14.72 metres, 1; Steffi Cardozo (Goa) 13.63, 2; Seema Antil (Haryana) 13.50, 3.
Triple jump: Gayathry Govindarajan (Tamil Nadu) 13.39 metres, 1; Prajusha M A (Railways) 12.96, 2; Joyline Lobo (Karnataka) 12.44, 3.  
4x400M relay: Kerala 3:50.68, 1; Railways 4:03.52, 2; Tamil Nadu 4:19.95, 3.
20000M walk: L Deepmala Devi (Railways) 1:47:53.26, 1; Sandhya K J (Kerala) 1:54:32.14, 2; Supriya Adak (Railways) 2:01:01.57, 3.

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